Advent: The Christ Candle

Reposted from December 24, 2011

The Christ candle is traditionally lit during either a Christmas Eve service or perhaps on Christmas Day. What ever you do is fine as long as you remember that Christ is the gift and God is in the manger.

Today is Christmas Eve, the last day of Advent. Tomorrow is Christmas, the first of the 12 days of Christmas, which culminates in Epiphany. An epiphany is a great discovery or revelation of prolific truth. The January 6th Epiphany celebrates the wise men finding Jesus.

Advent is the season of waiting and preparation. If we’re being technically correct in our worship (and I’m not one that cares as much as some do) we should have been singing Advent hymns up to this point, such as O Come Emanuel. It is now time to sing Joy to the World, proclaiming that the Lord is come.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

(Luke 2:10-14 ESV)


4 thoughts on “Advent: The Christ Candle

  1. When do you remove the 4 advent candles? Do you leave the Christ candle in the center of wreath by itself? from a confused Altar Guild member.

  2. In my experience I’ve never known anyone to remove the other 4 candles when lighting the Christ candle. I will see if there is a particular tradition for this.

    The Catholic Church changes the 4 candles to all white when the Christ candle (sometimes called the Christmas candle) is lit. The Christ candle was not part of the oldest Advent wreath traditions, so there are no “official rules” dictated anywhere. Advent actually ends after the 4th Sunday is over, and some churches remove the wreath before Christmas. Others will leave the wreath for the entire Christmastide, which lasts until the Baptism of the Lord.

  3. I was say they remain. In my own person experience, I have never seen an Advent wreath with no candles. The bottom line is that there are no “rules” only a host of differing traditions. Celebrate Christ, enjoy this time of festive worship, you really can’t do it wrong.

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